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Nearly 300 to compete this weekend in Gym South’s Mardi Gras meet

It’s time to toss out the beads and flip across the floor, the area’s biggest annual gymnastics meet is in store this weekend.

The eighth annual Mardi Gras Classic gymnastics meet is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday at Gym South, 3422 Wisconsin Ave. Action starts at 9:30 a.m. Saturday and will continue through 9:30 p.m. The meet will resume Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

There are seven sessions in all, four on Saturday and three on Sunday. Each session is its own mini-meet where gymnasts of the same skill level and age compete against each other.

Gym South’s new owner Kayla Stuckey has operated the gym since June, making this her first Mardi Gras meet to host and produce. She said she doesn’t know what to expect, but is hard at work preparing to make the meet a success.

“No, I’m not nervous at all. I feel great about it, and I have just had so much fun doing this and being with the parents that helped out,” Stuckey said.

She said she hasn’t changed anything from the way the competition has been set up in previous years. The only difference is she started planning sooner. Stuckey said she wanted to start planning early in order to really enjoy the meet, and she’s thankful for the help she has received from the community.

“Since this was my first year, I wanted it to be stress free, and it was because I’ve had an awesome time planning this meet,” Stuckey said.

There are 277 gymnasts ages 5 to 18 competing in the all-girl meet, and 18 of the competitors are from Gym South. The gymnasts are coming from 14 different gyms around the state.

“They all come from different counties of Mississippi,” Stuckey said. “I’m looking forward to seeing how our girls do and how this meet will turn out since it’s my first.”

Stuckey said plans are in the works to start hosting two competitions at Gym South each year. Hosting events like this is good for the entire community, she said, because it brings business to town with guests eating at local restaurants and staying in hotels.

The competition will feature all four events — beam, bars, floor and vault. The gymnasts will compete on several levels from bronze through platinum, in Xcel levels, and from one through seven in compulsory levels.

“They all get awards, medals and trophies,” Stuckey said.

Admission is $5, and children 3 and under get in free.

MARDI GRAS CLASSIC MEET
At Gym South
Saturday
9:30 a.m. – Session 1, Age groups A, B, C, D
11:45 a.m. – Session 2, Age groups E, F, G, H
2:05 p.m. – Session 3, Levels 4 and XS
6:15 p.m. – Session 4, Levels 6, 7, 8, XG and XP
Sunday
8 a.m. – Session 5, Level 2
10:15 a.m. – Session 6, Levels 1
Noon – Session 7, Level 3